(Breaking: RNC is Out). Debate Mutiny. Format Matters. Let's Debate the Who, What and Why of Presidential Debates.

Republican candidates should not be treated as gladiators that have to fight each other to the death during what is called a debate. They should not be used as bread and circus for which the Left Street Media profits.

If anyone needs more proof after watching the first three debates, then look at what the New York Times editorial blog posted to generate a hungry crowd, an hour before the GOP debate started:

Who Made the Most Ridiculous Comment in the Republican Debate?

Note, they did not incite the crowd for the boring Democrat lovefest debate. Because, it was much more dignified as almost all the MSM reported after that one: Now we see who are the adults in the room and look how stately the D’s were compared to the crazy R’s. As if the moderators had nothing to do with that video creating a circus.

The Republican candidates have had it with the biased moderators and the format and are meeting tonight to discuss changes they want for future debates. This election cycle, the candidates gave away their individual negotiating power with the networks to the RNC to act as their agent. Their agent failed them and  should be fired unless he’s willing to make some changes that our candidates want and need and play hardball to get them implemented. If he’s not up to the task, then he should admit it and let the candidates act as their own agent(s) without the threat of delegate reductions for doing so.

UPDATE: The candidates fired the RNC as their agent and will negotiate directly with their networks according to Breitbart. Seems to me this reflects this year’s theme of outsiders rule and they can’t and won’t be stopped. Unless of course the RNC changes the delegate rules at the convention as they did in 2012.

The candidates realize that they are a hot commodity and therefore have the leverage to effect change, even without the RNC. Whoever thought millions of views would watch these early debates? My guess is no one could have imagined the wild success and now the candidates want to capitalize on their collective success and dictate the terms going forward.

Of course with 15 Republicans still running, it’s bound to get contentious in tonight’s meeting. Those on the bottom and middle of the pack have a lot more to gain compared to those on the top of the polls. So what should change?

The Who

The Candidates: How many should be on the stage? My guess is 5 or 6 max. It makes no sense to pack 10-11 on one stage and expect there not to be chaos and for some to get close to no airtime and then look like a whiner when they complain.  So in fairness to the networks, it’s not easy herding that many candidates onto one stage, so they should stop trying! Just because Fox did a two-session debate, doesn’t mean the rest need to follow that format. But using that model would be more effective if the networks split the field in half, perhaps even randomly, and have two 2-hour segments, either on the same night or preferably on two different nights.

We’re constantly reminded that national polls don’t mean much at this point so why are the candidates chosen upon that metric? To my dismay, it’s sacrosanct for both Parties to keep the first four states to vote IA, NH, SC and NV and any state that wants to buck that trend will be punished. Then why, as Bobby Jindal opined, aren’t the main stage candidates chosen based upon the polling of the early states rather than the national polls?

The Networks: In our modern world of streaming, there’s no reason to grant all the debates to the networks. I think the reach maybe greater to some extent, but we also need to reach the younger voters who many get all their information from their devices. The candidates could use a Trump Tower meeting room and invite Google, YouTube, C-Span, and even all the networks to come and transmit their event. Take the exclusive power away from the networks which nearly all have contributed to the Clinton Foundation. At this point they could probably charge a fee and use the money to find other creative ways to get their messages out to a greater audience or pay real debate experts to moderate for them.

The Moderators: This has been the biggest problem with the debates in that they want to showcase their own talents or lack thereof, instead of stars of the show. All of the 3 main debates have showcased their bias and their distain for Republicans in general. Oddly, the undercard debates have been the most effective in hearing the candidates answer specific and substantive questions. Even the Democrat debate with Anderson Cooper was better than the main debates.

There is no getting away from the biased MSM so the candidates and/or RNC must ensure that they pick moderators carefully. If a moderator has donated to the Clinton Foundation or any of her campaigns they can’t be allowed, period. If they have already moderated a debate and treated the candidates like bread and circus, they can’t participate in a future debate. Maybe we need a moderator of the moderators to interrupt when their questions are out of line!


The What

What about the format? Why are these debates treated like pop-quizzes? I think the candidates should know in advance what the main topic should be ahead of time, like the CNBC was billed to be about money issues until they strayed so far off track. With this many candidates and so many issues facing our country, the debates going forward should be issue oriented, staring with the next Fox Business debate which should focus strictly on economic issues. Then one on foreign policy, next one on taxes, family matters, etc. This would also keep the moderators more focused on the topic instead of using their imaginations on how to stump the chump (their bias, not mine). Yes I want to see how they can think on their feet but I also want to know their plans.

I’d like to see four segments within the debate:

  1. Opening Statements as it pertains to the stated topic of the debate. This should be at least 3 minutes, not 30 seconds, perhaps longer as the field gets smaller so they can lay out their vision and/or policy.
  2. Moderator questions for every candidate on what was laid out in their opening statement. Obviously additional questions on the topic, but I’d also at least one question be asked of each candidate. This jumping all over the map on unlimited topics does not allow policy caparisons.
  3. A segment that allows every candidate to ask one question of another candidate of their choice, on the topic of course.
  4. Closing statement to reiterate points on their plans that they didn’t get to discuss already.

The Why

Perhaps it’s best for our Party that the CNBC debate was such a debacle and clear example of media bias on display for all to see and it was done early in the process. The rest of those hosting debates are on warning that these debates are for Republican voters and other potential voters interested in hearing how our candidates would govern as president. That is, if the debates go on as scheduled.

The networks are not the Roman emperors putting on a circus to prove to the world that Republicans are the untamed entertainers and Democrats are the serious candidates. Which is exactly what’s happened to date.

My Crazy Debate Wish List

It’d be really great if we could have the exact same mods ask the exact same questions of both Parties within a short timeframe. R’s on Tuesday, D’s on Wednesday. Or, back to back on the same night with the later Party unable to hear the first debate. And lastly, why do we have to wait until after the nominations are final to debate between the Parties? I’d love to see a debate with our top three and their only three in January before any votes are cast. Talk about showcasing the difference in candidates and vision for the future.

Let’s hear your thoughts on how to improve the debates and maybe some of our candidates will take notes!!!